Spring officially began this week. Daylight Savings has happened, Novruz and St. Patrick’s Day are past, and the nice weather is looking like it might be here to stay. It’s spring! I’m joining Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup. Today I’ll tell you about the produce I’m looking forward to at the farmer’s markets next month!
- Garlic scapes. I am in love with garlic scapes. For those who may not know, garlic scapes are the young, green curly cue of the garlic plant before it flowers. These are truly a spring/early summer vegetable. They taste of garlic, but with hints of green onion and springy goodness! You can easily substitute them for anything that calls for garlic or green onion. But my favorite thing to do is make garlic scape pesto. You can freeze it for a taste of spring in the middle of winter.
- Ramps. Before I became a bit of a foodie, I had never heard of ramps. Now I’m not the person who buys up the entire stock at the farmer’s market, or will go ramp-crazy at a restaurant. But I do look forward to buying 1-2 bunches each spring. Ramps are a foraged leafy green that have a light garlicky-onion taste. You can pickle the stems or make compound butter. My favorite way to have ramps is on homemade pizza. Pick up a crust or some dough, use minimal sauce (or a white sauce), add some ramps, ricotta cheese and mushrooms. You could go super seasonal and combine ramps with morel mushrooms, but portabello or oyster mushrooms will work just as well. So tasty!
- Cherry everything. Ok, I know that cherries don’t actually come into season for a few more months, but on the East Coast, early spring is cherry season. Cherry blossom season, that is. And in honor of the blossoms, cherries come out in many forms- pies, cupcakes, in teas and adult beverages.
- Asparagus. To me, asparagus and artichokes are fancy vegetables. Growing up, my family only had them seasonally and on special occasions. My dad would frequently choose one of them to be part of his birthday dinner. Spring asparagus are tender and have a better taste than the rest of the year. If you’re buying them as a bunch, don’t look at how thick or thin they are. Look at how tight the floret at the top is (tighter is better) and at how dry/woody the bottom of the stem is (less dry/woody is better because then you can use more of every stalk).
- Avocados. I know you can get these year-round, but when avocados come into season here in the US, the price drops and the taste improves. Mmmm. I’m a super fan of the simple lunch salad of cucumber, tomato and avocado. I’ll have an avocado sliced with salt alongside eggs for a post-run weekend breakfast. Or you can fancy and combine it with chickpeas for hummus, turn it into a dressing, or bake it with an egg and cheese in the center. So many good options- but will there be enough avos to go around?
What do you look forward to every spring? What’s your favorite go-to as the weather warms up?